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The Norfolk Churches Site: an occasional sideways glance at the churches of Norfolk

St Mary, Itteringham

Itteringham: welcoming, and full of light

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ruined chapel clean lines of a small church

    St Mary, Itteringham

I fear that exploring the churches of Norfolk can be a bit like cherry picking; the crop is so abundant that there is a danger of only noticing the fuller and more beautiful examples. The lesser ones tend to merge in the memory and imagination, but of course each one is the individual and unique heart of a historic community, and most are the focus of a faith community today.

St Mary is not a church of outstanding interest, but this a pleasant village in the low hills north of Aylsham, and the churchyard is a lovely, tree-shaded spot. And the church is welcoming, and full of light; the fixtures and fittings are simple, but of good quality, and interesting for being box pews with poppyheads. All in all St Mary must be a pleasant place to spend your Sunday mornings. I liked it a lot.

It is a small church without being tiny; Norfolk Dec and Perp on an understated scale. One curiosity is the 15th century guild chapel that forms a transept on the north side; it is now in ruins, but it contains a 19th century memorial, and the presumably 18th century window infilling the arch to it is wide, clear and bright.

The royal arms are relatively rare, being those of William IV. There is some curious panelling in the chancel, again 18th century I think, which must have come from elsewhere originally.The 19th century glass is of excellent quality, and it may be a symptom of the stewardship this church has historically received from the Walpole family, who give their name to the village pub, and a current churchwarden in the form of Lord Walpole. There are some fascinating snippets of local history on Jonathan Neville's enjoyable Itteringham website.

Simon Knott, September 2005


the view east organ St John the Baptist Blessed Virgin Mary view into ruined chapel  sanctuary
looking west William IV royal arms 

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The Norfolk Churches Site: an occasional sideways glance at the churches of Norfolk